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Government ‘should encourage Channel 4 move to Salford’

Report from think tank ResPublica says government should invest more in the North

A new report from think tank ResPublica is calling on the government to encourage Channel 4 to move to Salford.

Escape Velocity: Growing Salford’s Digital and Creative Economy, says Salford needs to be made the new “default option” when it comes to investment in the digital and creative industries.

“The cluster on the Quays remains vulnerable to multiple forces that – if not actively checked by local, regional and central government – threaten its continued growth and success” said the report.

“This is partly due to London’s abiding ability to drain talent and capital from the rest of the country.”

ResPublica argues that relocating Channel 4’s operations to Salford would add to the existing ecosystem of firms and skills and build further growth.

According to the research, £1 billion has been invested into the immediate MediaCityUK site between 2007 and 2014 and the 30,000 jobs at Salford Quays, across all sectors, represent a quarter of all employment in Salford.

“MediaCityUK exemplifies the kind of industrial strategy – rooted in both sector specialisation and place – that the Government is committed to pursuing. It demonstrates how to enable a focused approach to the formation of innovative clusters at the local level. Furthermore, it shows how hubs can gather momentum and achieve ‘escape velocity’ – breaking away from London’s gravitational pull,” the report said.